After years of begging by fans and merchandise vendors, Seattle’s PopCap has decided to start producing licensed products, such as toys and apparel.
The game studio today announced deals with merchandisers that will begin selling PopCap gear this spring and through the rest of 2012.
PopCap has a big incentive to boost revenue. If the company meets sales targets in 2012 and 2013, the founders will get up to $550 million from Electronic Arts under the $1.3 buyout deal the companies reached last July.
Licensed products have been a cash cow for other game companies, notably “Angry Birds” creator Rovio.
But PopCap’s licensing manager downplayed the revenue angle.
“The revenue will not be insignificant but it’s not our focus,” said Brennan Townley, who joined the company last year to manage brand merchadising and licensing.
Townley said his position was created prior to the EA deal. When he joined his first job was to go through hundreds of inquiries for licensing deals that had accumulated over the last three or four years.
“We’re not necessarily looking at this as ‘how are we going to monetize and make money on this,”’ he said.
PopCap has never sold licensed products outside of some products now sold in China.
The first products available are “Plants vs. Zombies” wall graphics. T-shirts will appear in retail over the next few weeks and figurines and plush toys should be in stores by the holiday season.
We’ll have to see if these zombie pants are available in time for Father’s Day and graduation season: